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Skol303

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO HOME RECORDING

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In my quest to preserve my hearing I am looking for a new outboard compressor, for my sweet vocal tones ;) , not specifically for the sound quality , but because the one I have is a touch big and, well, ugly and SWMBO is giving my ears grief over it , so ....

I have come across the FNC RNC 1773 and it gets plenty of love , so it seems a must have , but, it comes just as a compressor, and the big ugly one I have is a focusrite tool with a preamp/gain adjustment/phantom power malarky.
Does this mean I will need to source a pretty mic preamp as well as the pretty compressor, as I might just have to resort to putting the big ugly one in a cupboard when I am not using it , but I am then less likely to use it if I have to set it up each time and I can't expect lurksalittle to bother , she is a proper lardy arsed teenager now :o .
Thanks in advance

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[quote name='lurksalot' timestamp='1432373940' post='2780909']...
Does this mean I will need to source a pretty mic preamp as well as the pretty compressor...
[/quote]

Lurks...

Where are you presently plugging in your mic..? You can't plug a mic into that compressor; it's for use in conjunction with a preamp or console with 'insert' facilities, so 'Yes', you'd need a preamp, but it must have 'insert' as a feature.
Why do you need a hardware compressor..? Can you not use a vst plug-in..? I'm assuming that you are recording directly into your PC; maybe that's not the case..?
As for protecting your ears: a closed headset can keep out extraneous noises such as nagging quite well. There are models which are comfortable enough to be worn permanently. Teenagers, on the other hand, cannot be tamed, so don't waste any effort on trying. Condoleance. :mellow:

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[quote name='PaulWarning' timestamp='1424102665' post='2692623'] I do a bit of home recording, just demos for the band really and being a tight arse I do it on the cheap, I use audacity and record one thing at a time, start with the drum track, I use Hydrogen,then just by pluging the mic/bass/guitar into the mic socket on my computer just record one track at a time, the only cost is a lead to convert a 6.3mm jack to a mini jack, if you get one with two 6.3mm jacks into one mini jack you can record 2 tracks at once, one track to the left channel and one to the right, like I said a super cheap option but good enough for demos [/quote]

Super cheap option has MacDaddy written all over it!

Do I actually need an interface, or will a Jack to USB cable do?

I have powered monitors connected to the speaker out on my computer, most interfaces seem to want speakers connected to the interface?

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[quote name='lurksalot' timestamp='1432373940' post='2780909']
SWMBO is giving my ears grief over it , [/quote]

Ah...I get it and nice try.
The Compressor, is in fact, not for your voice.

I might get one and position it over the door for when my lady comes in.
On the other hand, a brickwall limiter might be a better bet in my (our/her) house.

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[quote name='lowdown' timestamp='1432377711' post='2780956']...
I might get one and position it over the door for when my lady comes in.
On the other hand, a brickwall limiter might be a better bet in my (our/her) house.
[/quote]

:lol: :lol: :lol: And there was I, trying to give sensible advice for once..! :rolleyes:

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:lol: , so many options now , I was just under the impression that real life compression was a better option really , rather than relying on the software but I don't want to keep buying stuff. Some how it seems to sound different if I put a bit of compression on the signal before it gets to reaper , I may be imagining it but it does feel more real :huh: , if that makes the slightest bit of sense :D

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[quote name='MacDaddy' timestamp='1432376965' post='2780937']
Super cheap option has MacDaddy written all over it!

Do I actually need an interface, or will a Jack to USB cable do?

I have powered monitors connected to the speaker out on my computer, most interfaces seem to want speakers connected to the interface?
[/quote]

It depends on ;
Your computer specs
Your operating system
The recording software
Your computer's soundcard
and
The driver for your soundcard.

An audio interface is just a soundcard , usually external , but with drivers ( software instructions for the operating system ) specifically written for it to prioritise audio with minimal lag ( known as latency ).

You may get acceptable results with your existing internal soundcard and it's existing driver .
If not , try again with the free driver ASIO4ALL .
After installation it will show all the available audio inputs and outputs on your system on a graphical set up screen . Simply select your jack-to-usb as the input and your souncard's outputs where your monitor speakers are as the outputs .
Next configure the buffer size in the set up ;
test by recording , then ,if the sound is ok ( no breakup or crackles ) but has a delay when you play :- lower the buffer size .
If you start getting breakups ,dropouts or crackles :- increase the buffer size .
You have to test to find the best buffer size setting for your system .

The better quality.a soundcard-and-it's-driver is the less latency you get . Your existing set-up may be adequate for your needs , but you have to test/configure to suit .

Hope that helps .

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[quote name='MacDaddy' timestamp='1432376965' post='2780937']
Super cheap option has MacDaddy written all over it!

Do I actually need an interface, or will a Jack to USB cable do?

I have powered monitors connected to the speaker out on my computer, most interfaces seem to want speakers connected to the interface?
[/quote]

I started off using just such a cable (from Alesis...), connecting to a very modest XP PC. It works well, but has its limitations, in that it can't be used for a mic, nor could I adjust the sensitivity. It's simple and rustic, very economical, but limited. I quite quickly chose to upgrade to a dedicated external interface, bought second-hand from a forum member (thanks again, Skol..!).
You can leave your speakers as they are; in fact I don't have speakers at all, I just use a headset.
Hope this helps.

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I'm buying an interface (most probably a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or 2i4) and there's one little piece of info I couldn't find anywhere. When I'm recording bass to an existing project, can I use the direct headphones monitoring (for no latency) and still hear the demo that I record to? Or do I just hear my bass then and I need to use the non-direct monitoring fed back from the computer to hear both? Sorry if the question is stupid :)

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[quote name='such' timestamp='1432473199' post='2781767']
I'm buying an interface (most probably a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or 2i4) and there's one little piece of info I couldn't find anywhere. When I'm recording bass to an existing project, can I use the direct headphones monitoring (for no latency) and still hear the demo that I record to? Or do I just hear my bass then and I need to use the non-direct monitoring fed back from the computer to hear both? Sorry if the question is stupid :)
[/quote]

From the [url="http://d3se566zfvnmhf.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/focusrite/downloads/7317/scarlett-2i2-user-guide-v2.pdf"]Scarlett 2i2 User Guide[/url] ...

[color=#800080]"Using Direct Monitoring[/color]
[color=#800080]You will frequently hear the term “latency” used in connection with digital audio systems. In the case [/color][color=#800080]of the simple DAW recording application described above, latency will be the time it takes for your [/color][color=#800080]input signals to pass through your computer and audio software. Latency can be a problem for a [/color][color=#800080]performer who wishes to record while monitoring their input signals.[/color]
[color=#800080]The Scarlett 2i2 is fitted with a “Direct Monitoring” option, which overcomes this problem. [/color][color=#800080]Setting the front panel “Direct Monitor” switch to ON will route your input signals directly to the [/color][color=#800080]Scarlett 2i2’s headphone and main monitor outputs. This enables you to hear yourself with zero [/color][color=#800080]latency – i.e., in “real time” – along with the computer playback. The input signals to your computer [/color][color=#800080]are not affected in any way by this setting.[/color]
[color=#800080]When “Direct Monitoring” is set to ON, ensure that your DAW software is not set to route its input [/color][color=#800080](what you are currently recording) to its output. If it is, you will hear yourself “twice”, with one signal [/color][color=#800080]audibly delayed as an echo."[/color]

Hope this helps. Edited by Dad3353

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I'm considering one of those too, so that's handy info. Cheers such for asking that Q & to Dad for answering it. :)

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mine is ordered, shall give it a go in a few days :) Hope it will cooperate with my lowly laptop...

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An quirk of the 2i2, or with mine at least, is that the direct-monitored sound is not identical, tonally, to what gets recorded. Fortunately, the discrepancy is the good way around, and the recorded sound is always a bit fuller and richer sounding. Also, the built-in headphone preamp is a bit weedy, which might be an issue if you have fancy high-impedance cans. Neither of these things have been an issue for me, but I just thought I'd mention. I love my 2i2, although, in hindsight, I wish I'd stumped up the little bit extra for the 2i4.

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[quote name='linear' timestamp='1432574750' post='2782871']
An quirk of the 2i2, or with mine at least, is that the direct-monitored sound is not identical, tonally, to what gets recorded. Fortunately, the discrepancy is the good way around, and the recorded sound is always a bit fuller and richer sounding. Also, the built-in headphone preamp is a bit weedy, which might be an issue if you have fancy high-impedance cans. Neither of these things have been an issue for me, but I just thought I'd mention. I love my 2i2, although, in hindsight, I wish I'd stumped up the little bit extra for the 2i4.
[/quote]

I have the 2i4 and it has the same issues re headphones amp and direct monitored sound, it just does it with more instruments :-)

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[quote name='MacDaddy' timestamp='1432376965' post='2780937']
Super cheap option has MacDaddy written all over it!

Do I actually need an interface, or will a Jack to USB cable do?

I have powered monitors connected to the speaker out on my computer, most interfaces seem to want speakers connected to the interface?
[/quote]I've found a 6.3mm to mini jack will do the trick, obviously it depends on your sound card my onboard realtek one does the trick, it has a microphone boost setting,(which I didn't use on this recording) I use a Shure SM 58, here's something I've quickly knocked up using two mono 6.3mm jacks into a stereo mini jack plugged into the mic socket of my computer with no effects added at all, just a bass and mic plugged straight in.
I should add, bass was recorded on the left channel and vocal on the right at the same time, then saved as a mono channel Edited by PaulWarning

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[quote name='PaulWarning' timestamp='1432586686' post='2783095']
I've found a 6.3mm to mini jack will do the trick...
[/quote]

Yes, it certainly works (download the file and rename as 'mp3' to listen to it...); the quality depends, as you say, on the soundcard. At a pinch, and on a budget, it can be useful. B)

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Inspired by this thread, I thought I'd load up the copy of Cubase LE 5 which came with my Digitech pedal. One wasted afternoon later, bottom line is it can't be loaded because the included software to enter the product key is out of date, and can not be updated by a computer running XP.

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Have you tried Reaper yet? Very cheap and had a trial that doesn't expire so you can test it out until you're convinced enough to buy it.

http://www.reaper.fm/

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[quote name='Mornats' timestamp='1432995485' post='2786895']
Have you tried Reaper yet? Very cheap and had a trial that doesn't expire so you can test it out until you're convinced enough to buy it.

[url="http://www.reaper.fm/"]http://www.reaper.fm/[/url]
[/quote]
Yup tried it. Far too complicated for a numpty like me :(

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[quote name='MacDaddy' timestamp='1433034411' post='2787285']
Yup tried it. Far too complicated for a numpty like me :(
[/quote]

What exactly are you wanting to achieve..? You won't find a numptier collection of numpties than the participants of this forum; maybe we could talk you through the thin barrier to success..? I've not tried 'em all, but they don't get much more simple and intuitive than Reaper, and, apart from the admittedly daunting User Manual, there's a plethora of tuition material on t'web using it as a DAW. I had a brief look at the Open Source ones mentioned previously; they don't seem any less complex than any other.
One should not confuse, either, 'complicated' and 'complex'. These DAW applications are complex, in that there are very many aspects to 'em, but each aspect in isolation is simple enough. Taken step by step, and doing the simple things first, they ain't so bad, ime. Maybe we could (figuratively..!) hold your hand for those first steps..?
Just sayin'...

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[quote name='Dad3353' timestamp='1433053567' post='2787307']
.......... You won't find a numptier collection of numpties than the participants of this forum.............
Just sayin'...
[/quote]

:lol: :lol: I think I can associatte myself with those remarks :lol:

Reaper is just superb , but I would suggest that it is not 'intuitive' . To a new user of recording software and the process , I would argue that non are actually intuitive , the first steps are definitely the hardest , but I would agree that Reaper has fantastic support, from the Cockos forums which are very helpful through to the You Tube tutorials which hold your hand through nearly any function you need and loads you never even thought of , so while slow small steps are the way to proceed , with Reaper you will find plenty of help.

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